Monday, November 30, 2015

Another Crown, What Fun! (Part 1)

So, here we are again. Continuing with my multi-million dollar treatment plan, I'm on to tooth #5, the one next to the canines, on the right.

My those front teeth are pretty!
Dr. S came in and numbed me up (I originally typed "nummed" me up, but that's how porn starts...)

The Instruments of Torture
Sufficiently numbed (not "nummed"), he goes to town on poor little #5, but stops after about 30 minutes.

Bad news, he said.

I need a root canal on this tooth.  The infection wasn't bad, but it was enough.

Luckily, he was able to score an appointment with Dr. Kathy Tyler of Endodontic Associates for later that day.

So, off I went after getting some lunch.

Wow, her office sure is a lot... nicer... than my little strip mall dentist's office!

It's like a "Pretty Woman" version at a dentist's office - I feel too poor to be here
Although, no matter how much they filter the air, you can still tell it's a dentist office!

I filled out some paperwork and agreed to the horribly obnoxious cost of $1105, should my insurance not cover the procedure. (If it WAS covered, I *only* owed $255...)

Soon, a hygenist/assistant called me back and had me sit in a (really comfortable) chair, then took some x-rays. I like that they have the machines right in the same room - no need for the patient to get up for an x-ray.

Digital x-rays, now served tableside
The tooth in question is the one on the right, with the big white dot (an old filling)
Next, Dr. T came in and numbed me up. I don't know what type of topical anesthetic they use, but it sure works a lot faster than Coast!  She topically numbed the gum area, then within seconds was going in with the big guns - again, MUCH stronger stuff than what Coast uses.  She left me there to enjoy the view for a few minutes, until I was totally numb.

The endodontist's workstation is behind the chair, so when they lower you down, it's all within reach
Very tropical, with lush greenery and bamboo
Once I was numb from my nose to my chin (felt that way anyway), it was time to go in.  I politely explained the iPod and sunglasses, and then disappeared.

Halfway through the procedure, she tapped me on the shoulder. I pulled out one of my earbuds to hear what she was saying. She had pulled out the root by then, and she was actually SHOWING it to me!  (I'm a curious person, and had already peppered her with questions before she began). It was about the length of a grain of rice, but very thin, like when you pull a string from the hem of your shirt or something. It was also very white.  She said that when roots die, they shrivel up to be very skinny, but when they're still alive, they look like a tiny tapeworm. Um, eww? But, cool!

She finished up and added root filling, to fill the holes where the roots were, then we took another x-ray to ensure that she got everything she needed.

They clip on this cool Dental Dam to separate the tooth they are working on from the others and to keep the area sterile
Now you can see tht tooth has root filling and a temporary filling to get me through the next few days
Once that was completed, she gave me a prescription for Naproxen. I don't do well with Lortab, and Naproxen is just super-strength Aleve, so I knew it'd be fine. I paid the astronimically high bill and headed home. I called Coast when I got home and scheduled an appointment for December 2nd to come back and get finished with this part of the process.